On Monday morning, Johnson reiterated that the arrests were “reprehensible” and said he hoped to meet with the men to discuss “a constructive solution,” speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
He also said he will order store managers to undergo training for how to spot “unconscious bias.” Previously, Johnson appeared in a video apologizing to the two men and promising changes at the company.
Meanwhile, about two dozen protesters gathered outside the coffee shop in the pouring rain, starting before 7 a.m. on Monday morning, while inside it looked like business as usual, according to the Associated Press. Most people drinking coffee at the tables, however, were regional leaders for the company’s corporate side, the AP reported.
Just before 7:30 a.m., the protesters moved inside and stood in front of the counter, some holding banners reading “End Stop and Frisk,” chanting slogans like, “A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black,” according to the AP.
On Sunday, demonstrators carried megaphones and signs that said phrases like, “Too Little Too Latte,” and confronted the employees behind the register, according to NBC Philadelphia.
The two black men, whose identities were not been released, were arrested Thursday after a Starbucks employee called 911 because they were sitting inside the café and allegedly refused to leave.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is black, said the men hadn’t purchased anything and refused to leave, which led to the arrest. The men were eventually let go after about eight hours in police custody — Starbucks did not press any charges.
Michelle Saahene, who witnessed the incident, told NBC News on Sunday that after the men were not permitted to use the bathroom because they had not purchased anything, they sat at a table silently while using their phones as they waited for a friend.
“The cops were asking them to leave because they weren’t purchasing anything,” Saahene said. “[The two men] said they were confused. This is a Starbucks. Since when are people asked to leave a Starbucks who are just sitting there?”